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George Zimmerman on Trial

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The trial of George Zimmerman, who killed unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in February 2012, begins this week. The prosecution is arguing that Zimmerman's actions were out of malice; Zimmerman's lawyers argue self-defense. Jami Floyd, legal analyst and sometime guest host for The Brian Lehrer Show, discusses the juror selection process and Monday's opening arguments.

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Jami Floyd

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Comments [70]

Mr. Bad from NYC

@ fuva from harlemworld

Also, I was bummed you didn't come back with some more of those "stalking" accusations? Abandoned that tack already?

Jun. 25 2013 10:57 PM
Mr. Bad from NYC

@fuva from harlemworld

"Taking the back way" needs to be defined for you, because you're an idiot."

OK, you win, clearly, you're both a scholar and a gentleman.

"Yo, call it what you want, but Zimmerman was a strange man who reduced a youngster (walking to where he had a right to be) to a criminal and then, without identifying himself, menacingly pursued him."

Just more B.S.

"Finally, it's one thing to say I don't know what I'm talking about, and another to associate me with inmates. This is not an automatic association. Like your personal insults and desperate (baseless) quibbling/ issue-avoidance, it exposes you."

It's just your way. I'm not saying you're an inmate or ever were but you write like one, that's all. But you know what's funny? Both you and your pal "the truth" like to "expose" people for being smarter than you are and making better arguments. Maybe when you grow up and ditch that chip on your shoulder you'll come back down to earth and learn to live with the rest of us sinners.

In the meantime you're just another self satisfied, self important blowhard with less wit, class and tact than the racist/bigot windmills you tilt.

BTW - any textual analysis of these posts will reveal that the only thing you've done or could do is to say "I know you are but what am I". Review your posts, you've even used my vocabulary and logical analysis to reframe your counterarguments. You're a pretty sad excuse for a polemicist. You'd help your side more by bowing out. But ego gets in the way, eh? I truly pity you.

Jun. 25 2013 10:42 PM
fuva from harlemworld

Mr. Bad,

"Taking the back way" needs to be defined for you, because you're an idiot. And "ipso facto" is not strictly a legal term, though I use it here appropriately for that context. "Taking the back way", as Trayvon's path has been described, is not IN AND OF ITSELF trespassing. On what homeowner's property was Trayvon walking? Cite your source.

Of course, my "reasonable assumption" is speculative. I AGREED with you, when I said "True, about my assumption that Zimmerman..." A "reasonable" assumption is still speculative. (Note, speculate and assume are synonyms.) Who's the one "having a tough time with the English language"?

And who said Peaden is the "be all and end all"? Though, legislative intent can have bearing.

Yo, call it what you want, but Zimmerman was a strange man who reduced a youngster (walking to where he had a right to be) to a criminal and then, without identifying himself, menacingly pursued him.

Finally, it's one thing to say I don't know what I'm talking about, and another to associate me with inmates. This is not an automatic association. Like your personal insults and desperate (baseless) quibbling/ issue-avoidance, it exposes you.

Pathetic.

Jun. 25 2013 07:56 PM
Mr. Bad from NYC

@ fuva from harlemworld

Let me explain "ipso facto" as used in a legal context. If, for instance, you buy a gun at a gun show in accordance with all state and federal laws you are not "ipso facto" in violation of the law. If, however, you bought the gun with the intent to resell it to someone who you knew to be a felon the purchase of the gun is itself illegal, in addition to the actual resale, because the original purchase was for an illegal purpose. No kidding.

So, when you write that "taking the back way" is not "ipso facto" trespassing you're not making any sense because you have not defined what "taking the back way" is. It is simply extraneous, pointless verbiage. It suggests a sort of intellectual insecurity.

If, as I think you're asserting, you believe that crossing into private property in order to take a shortcut is not "ipso facto" trespassing you are simply wrong. The law is pretty consistent across the 50 states with regard to trespassing, and in almost all instances you need permission from the property owner before you can legally set foot on their property. If you do not have permission you are trespassing.

Jun. 25 2013 05:58 PM
Mr. Bad from NYC

@ fuva from harlemworld
@ The Truth from Becky

You're kind of a tiresome, troubled duo but here you go:

Section 784.048. STALKING; DEFINITIONS; PENALTIES. 1997. (Florida Stalking Law)

Without any legal training you will have a hard time comprehending the law, as evidenced by your many superficial comments, but I will endeavor to explain. The Florida stalking law states that "Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or harasses another person commits the offense of stalking."

The key here is "maliciously" and "repeatedly" i.e. "with malice" and over time. Someone who is following another person for a legal purpose, such as to serve process, or to engage them in conversation, or to deliver a message or for any other legitimate reason is free to do legally do so.

Zimmerman cannot be shown to have "stalked" Martin unless he had done so with "malice", hard but not impossible for the Prosecutor, and "repeatedly". The latter is next to impossible since these events transpired in the space of minutes, on one occasion, and both were stranger to one another. So try again.

@ fuva from harlemworld

You seem to be having a tough time with the English language too so let me explain to you that while your "reasonable assumption" may be true or not it is still speculative, by definition. I don't think I can make it much simpler for you.

With regard to Sen. Durell Peaden his opinion is important but not the end all be all. Ever since Marbury v. Madison the court's have had the right to interpret law in context and decide how it will be applied. This is called the "common law" in our legal system.

When you write :

"Translation, "...equating "taking the back way", BY THE FACT ITSELF, with trespassing." You make no sense, again and again and again.

When you write :

"And what's with the "jailhouse" reference?"

No personal insult is intended but I clerked for a judge for over a year and read literally thousands of appeals from inmates proceeding pro se and the improper use of legal terminology, especially latin phrases like "cui bono", a favorite, and "quantum meruit" were the hallmark of these appeals. Not that they were all merit-less, but all were poorly written with extraneous terms tossed around in an attempt to accomplish by sheer number of words what a few precise words would otherwise have accomplished easily. The way you used "ipso facto" tells me you don't really understand what it means in a legal context, hence your personal "translation".

Jun. 25 2013 05:36 PM

"Al from Marine Park", 11:47 a.m., wrote,

"I wish I did know the facts regarding the relative weights and heights of the two, but the contrast seems to stand out from photos."

/Which/ photos?

At least one photo that appeared with most-- if not all-- of the early news stories of the event featured a younger -- and /considerably more "child-faced" and less-mature/developed-looking Trayvon Martin than his actual age and appearance at the time of incident.

In fact, my first reaction upon seeing said photo was to think, "Oh my, he was still just a cute kid...". And I'm not the first to question if that was exactly the point; i.e., that a deliberate, calculated decision was made to release that/those photo(s) of a noticeably younger, more tender-looking Trayvon in order to arouse just the kind of initial, emotional reaction that I myself had upon seeing the photo.

Jun. 25 2013 04:48 PM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

@ kiKakiki26

No, it says a lot about the kind of people that are manning 911 switchboards throughout the country.

I suspect the problem is that you haven't experienced the incompetence I have. When I lived in NJ, 911 was the professional, effective system it should be. Here in Virginia, it's less so. Not universally, there are certainly capable people, but I have experienced cases where they were needed and failed utterly.

One example, I was driving in King George county & saw a large quantity of smoke - it sure looked like a building was on fire. I called 911, told them the road I was on and the nearest cross road that just to the east of the fire. It was hopeless. I really do expect the 911 operator to both have a map of the county & know how to use it.

Unfortunately, the example above is not an uncommon experience here and in many other places across the country.

Jun. 25 2013 01:07 PM

David from Frederickburg Va
You are painting with a broad brush a group of hard working people, under a lot of stress I certainly hope when you need them they are not "unprofessional". Your attitude toward people who are not "rocket scientist or CEO's" says a lot about you.

Jun. 25 2013 12:43 PM
fuva from harlemworld

For instance, Mr. Bad, is stalking legal? In Florida?

"When he said 'I'm following him,' he lost his defense." -- Sen. Durell Peaden, Author of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57401619-504083/author-of-stand-your-ground-law-george-zimmerman-should-probably-be-arrested-for-killing-trayvon-martin/

Jun. 25 2013 12:31 PM
fuva from harlemworld

For instance, Mr. Bad, is stalking legal? In Florida?

"When he said 'I'm following him,' he lost his defense." -- Sen. Durell Peaden, Author of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57401619-504083/author-of-stand-your-ground-law-george-zimmerman-should-probably-be-arrested-for-killing-trayvon-martin/

Jun. 25 2013 12:31 PM
fuva from harlemworld

And what are the Florida laws backing your claims, Mr. Bad?

Jun. 25 2013 12:27 PM
fuva from harlemworld

Mr. Bad,

True, about my assumption that Zimmerman would have mentioned Trayvon's violation of law to get the police to respond...But it's not an unreasonable assumption. What we know from facts so far presented is that Zimmerman did not make this claim. Meanwhile, have you invented Trayvon's "cutting through other peoples yards (trespassing)" out of whole cloth? Besides your expert map analysis, what primary source has confirmed he knowingly trespassed?

"ip·so fac·to/ˈɪpsoʊ ˈfæktoʊ/ [ip-soh fak-toh]
noun
by the fact itself;"

Translation, "...equating "taking the back way", BY THE FACT ITSELF, with trespassing."

And what's with the "jailhouse" reference?

Zimmerman abandoned reasonable rules of engagement here. We'll see how this applies to Florida law.

Jun. 25 2013 12:25 PM
The Truth from Becky

Stalking is illegal.

Jun. 25 2013 12:21 PM
Mr. Bad from NYC

@fuva from harlemworld

"Again, it is absolutely reasonable for someone to be defensive against a stranger pursuing him as he walked to his destination in the rain."

Again, no, it's not, it's not reasonable or legal. Your notion of self defense is expansive. If someone is following you on the road in a car, on a public street in the rain or in any other public place and you attack them for no reason you will be the one going to jail. Any assertion to the contrary is baseless. No "standard" needs to be met to follow someone and speak to them in a public place. It's unbelievable anyone could believe the contrary.

There is no law that supports your position, either find one or give up this inane rhetoric.

Jun. 25 2013 12:16 PM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

@ fuva from harlemworld

He's a Marine, he sure didn't ask if he might be allowed to speak to his majesty!

Jun. 25 2013 12:15 PM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

@ fuva from harlemworld

He's a Marine, he sure didn't ask if he might be allowed to speak to his majesty!

Jun. 25 2013 12:15 PM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

@ kiKakiki26
"BTW are you disparaging the 911 switchboard operator profession"

No, I'm disparaging the 911 switchboard operator unprofessionalism

Jun. 25 2013 12:13 PM
fuva from harlemworld

David, you say the stranger was "acting in a strange manner". You are not specific about what he was doing, but, again, Zimmerman's description of Trayvon's behavior that night does not meet that standard.

Furthermore, you say your neighbor "confronted" the stranger. What does this mean? Depending on what the stranger was doing, how he was "confronted" matters. Again, it is absolutely reasonable for someone to be defensive against a stranger pursuing him as he walked to his destination in the rain.

Jun. 25 2013 11:57 AM

"David from Fredericksburg, VA
I wouldn't listen to someone at the 911 switchboard either. These are not trained police officers and I've had many 911 calls where I've seriously wondered what the IQ was on the other end of the line."

and therein lie the problem had GZ not been judge and jury he would have done his civic duty - called in the report, waited for authorities and pointed out the direction the suspect went - everybody go home alive BTW are you disparaging the 911 switchboard operator profession

Jun. 25 2013 11:56 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

@ fuva from harlemworld

Uhm, we are all speculating to a degree, including yourself.

"If Trayvon were "trespassing", Zimmerman would have surely said so in his 911 call. " That is speculative.

"You are equating taking "the back way" with ipso facto "trespassing", which is wrong." This is also speculative. Also, you're not using "ipso facto" correctly.

You don't need to add latin phrases just to sound like you know what you're talking about, people with legal experience find this common "jailhouse lawyer" flourish laughable.

Google the neighborhood (I did) there is no "back way" other than through other people's property. It is a suburban subdivision, not a dense urban area.

Jun. 25 2013 11:56 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Mr. Bad, rather than speculate, including about my motives, try to refine your analysis around the facts so far presented.
If Trayvon were "trespassing", Zimmerman would have surely said so in his 911 call. You are equating taking "the back way" with ipso facto "trespassing", which is wrong. Furthermore, there has been no mention of Zimmerman saying anything to Trayvon BEFORE following him, (calling 911) and pursuing him in the dark/rain, unannounced.
Meanwhile, as additional facts are hopefully presented, pay attention. Then, most importantly, learn from this episode.

Jun. 25 2013 11:48 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Mr. Bad, rather than speculate, including about my motives, try to refine your analysis around the facts so far presented.
If Trayvon were "trespassing", Zimmerman would have surely said so in his 911 call. You are equating taking "the back way" with ipso facto "trespassing", which is wrong. Furthermore, there has been no mention of Zimmerman saying anything to Trayvon BEFORE following him, (calling 911) and pursuing him in the dark/rain, unannounced.
Meanwhile, as additional facts are hopefully presented, pay attention. Then, most importantly, learn from this episode.

Jun. 25 2013 11:48 AM
Al from Marine Park from Brooklyn, NY

@David from Fredericksburg, VA

ME:The jury must decide whether or not the KILLING of Trayvon Martin was self defense. The critical issue should be KILLING. Did a big adult like Zimmerman need to inflict a mortal wound, or even need to use his gun on, an unarmed thin youth?

DAVID:Now you're spewing BS - Marting was not some tiny little helpless kid against some big giant. Let's stick to the facts (which on they're face make Zimmerman look guilty as hell) and not try to create artificial "facts."

ME again: I wrote "unarmed" not "helpless", wrote "thin" not "tiny little", wrote Big" not "giant". I wish I did know the facts regarding the relative weights and heights of the two, but the contrast seems to stand out from photos. I think that the important question for the jury remains, "Did Zimmerman use unnecessary means to defend himself?"; there seems little doubt that he did. In my opinion, this guy was looking forward to having an excuse (Stand and Defend) to kill someone like Trayvon.

Jun. 25 2013 11:47 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

@ fuva from harlemworld

Here's a situation that I am very glad my neighbor decided to do something about.

A young man was dressed in a very strange manner, he had a sweatshirt on at the height of summer. He was walking around, acting odd. He then sat down on a transformer housing adjacent to a walking path. Then he went to the playground and was hanging around there.

My neighbor confronted him, asking him what he was doing. He left, my neighbor followed to see where he went. We looked up the address of the house he went into, it came up as housing a sex offender. We never saw this person again.

Was this person acting sufficiently suspicious for you? Was he even the sex offender? I don't know if he was the sex offender, but he was acting odd and hanging in areas frequented by children. He's gone & I'm glad.

Jun. 25 2013 11:43 AM
The Truth from Becky

The jury will have the last word.

Jun. 25 2013 11:41 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

@ graine from DC

"Also we do not know if Zimmerman bashed his head on the curb when he slipped and fell running after Martin in the rain...which could have fueled his raged too if he hurt himself on the fall."

Also we do not know if Martin slipped and fell on Martins gun and it went off and Zimmerman was just too embarrassed to admit it and now he can't even though it would then be an accident, not murder, because he would look like a liar"

Two ridiculous statements with no basis in reported fact. One is mine, one is not.

Jun. 25 2013 11:41 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

@ fuva from harlemworld

A "self defense specialist" eh? Would that be you? Try a lawyer. The rest of the post is pretty incoherent but if you feel you've made a point good for you. When you find the law or case law that states that a person may not follow another person on public property or speak with them in a public place I'll start taking you seriously. Just think about it for a little while.

Jun. 25 2013 11:37 AM
graine from DC

The issue of who confronted who is still not clear. We only have Zimmerman's words on that and he has lied to the court before. Also we do not know if Zimmerman bashed his head on the curb when he slipped and fell running after Martin in the rain...which could have fueled his raged too if he hurt himself on the fall. What becomes clear thus far is Martin was not thinking about attacking anyone just going to the store for some snacks at 6pm. There is not evidence of fact that Martin was doing anything else. Coming home became a scared child running from a stalker.

Jun. 25 2013 11:35 AM
fuva from harlemworld

clarification: "...I (and surely you) see strange visitors in my building all the time and don't feel compelled to approach them JUST because i don't know them."

Jun. 25 2013 11:34 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

@ fuva from harlemworld

I can understand why this is a sensitive issue because of the racial aspect but you're still looking at this from the wrong way around. Walking around in the rain, cutting through other peoples yards (trespassing), dressed in clothing which would tend to obscure the face. That is suspicious. If it were a white person doing what Trayvon was doing I would think the exact same thing, it is absolutely not a racial thing for me. It may have been for Zimmerman but there is no evidence of that.

Maybe Zimmerman did say "Hey I'm George..." as you wrote and somehow it was misunderstood (happens everyday). But the final and most important thing is no "objective standard" needs to be met by Zimmerman for ANYTHING he did. None of it was illegal. He is not a cop, he doesn't need to justify his contact. Thinking someone is suspicious, following them and speaking with them is legal no matter what you're thinking, it doesn't even matter why you do it UNLESS you intend to commit a crime. I guess in this case the prosecution will have to prove he intended to murder Trayvon Martin and concocted the whole scheme on the spot, on the way to Target. Good luck with that.

Jun. 25 2013 11:32 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Mr. Bad, say what? A person does not have a right to NOT be aggressively pursued by an unidentified stranger for no good reason? Well that's just nonsense. And any self-defense specialist will set you straight...But specifically, here, it seems to meet the standard for Stand Your Ground, which says you do not have to flee...The rest of your comment is just speculative nonsense, conjecture...Getting your ass whopped in a confrontation you absolutely initiated for no good reason does not give you the right to claim self-defense...Otherwise, see my response to ya boy David.

Jun. 25 2013 11:31 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Mr. Zimmerman may be the biggest racist on the planet, I do not know. I can't get inside his head.

What I do know is - Mr. Zimmerman is an over-zealous keystone cop / neighborhood watch zealot, who made some terrible decisions that led to a young man being unnecessarily killed.

People on either side of this argument are debating from emotion and are projecting general narratives about race, racism, and crime - which may or may not apply to this case.

Jun. 25 2013 11:27 AM
fuva from harlemworld

David, the question is what was Trayvon doing that was suspicious? Zimmerman has described (to 911 that day and since) absolutely no ACTION meeting a reasonably objective standard.
Apparently Trayvon was walking and looking as he walked. He was not casing people's homes.The perception of him as suspicious is absolutely problematic.
Furthermore, a more appropriate thing to do, if anything, might have been -- at first sight -- to say 'Hi, I'm George, from the Homeowner's Association. Are you new around here?'. Still, I (and surely you) see strange visitors in my building all the time and don't feel compelled to approach them because i don't know them.
Again, seems that Trayvon had good reason to be uneasy about unidentified Zimmerman's prolonged pursuit.
This episode is just foul. We should at least make it a teachable moment.

Jun. 25 2013 11:23 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

@ The Truth from Becky

"Blinded by ignorance."

Yes, you are. Especially when you accuse anyone who disagrees with you of being a racist? You're so fond of definitions, I think you're a perfect example of someone who is "ignorant", i.e. "Lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated."

Jun. 25 2013 11:12 AM
The Truth from Becky

Blinded by ignorance.

Jun. 25 2013 11:08 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

@ fuva from harlemworld

I apologize for over condensing my view - I don't know if Zimmerman should have followed Martin in the manner he did. I don't know in what manner Zimmerman followed him.

If Zimmerman merely followed him, while I can see Martin's unease, I don't see Zimmerman's fault. Zimmerman was in his own neighborhood & saw an unfamiliar person acting in a manner that aroused his suspicion. Following someone to see what they're doing is not wrong and certainly not illegal. Accosting them (unless you've seen them throw a brick through a window or other illegal activity) is a problem.

We all have a right to observe people in our own neighborhood, the picture gets much more narrow at the point of confrontation.

Jun. 25 2013 11:04 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

@ fuva from harlemworld

Yes, I can see your point, Trayvon may have been afraid and on edge. That still doesn't mean you can attack that person who is following you. I don't know what happened, wasn't there, neither were you, but I find it hard to believe that Zimmerman just walked up to Trayvon, said nothing and initiated a fight. Zimmerman had his head slammed down on a sidewalk, that is a public place, that is where the fight took place, apparently.

Words were exchanged between these two, I'd bet my life on it, and whatever those words were I'm pretty sure it was Martin who started the fight. I've seen enough street fights to know that whomever starts it usually gets the better of the other, Zimmerman was getting beat down, obviously on his back (back of head injuries). He probably thought he was going to get killed right there, pulled his piece, Martin saw it and thought he was going to get killed right there, both struggle for it - rest is history.

Jun. 25 2013 10:59 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

Anyone that says following a suspicious person in your own neighborhood shouldn't be allowed is an idiot.

Zimmerman did nothing wrong when he followed Martin. It's the confrontation that's in question - I don't know who confronted who or the sequence of events once the confrontation started. And neither does anyone else except Zimmerman and Martin.

If I see someone unfamiliar that appears to be sneaking around, I keep an eye on them. I don't care if they're white, black or green - it's the behavior, not the ethnicity/race that catches my attention.

Jun. 25 2013 10:57 AM
fuva from harlemworld

David, you can't say whether an UNIDENTIFIED lay man should have pursued a teenager in black skin and baggy pants walking home in the rain and doing nothing illegal? Then what CAN you say?

Jun. 25 2013 10:56 AM
The Truth from Becky

Yes, please do go walk behind an elephant - like talking to a brick racist wall,you are now invisible to me.

Jun. 25 2013 10:53 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

LOL @ The Truth from Becky

"Follow" and "Pursue" are not strictly synonymous. But you would need to have achieved a certain level of English language mastery to understand that. I'm sorry for your frustration.

Jun. 25 2013 10:52 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Mr. Bad, stop with the bad analysis. If an unidentified stranger in the dark rain starts to pursue you for no good reason, it is absolutely reasonable to be on edge and/or afraid. Zimmerman description of Trayvon's behavior that night indicates this.

Jun. 25 2013 10:51 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

It should be pointed out that it is legal to follow anyone in public. This is not up for debate. Following someone is not a crime, nor is talking to them, following someone in order to talk to them or for any other reason is not considered to be a provocation in the eyes of the law. End of story.

Jun. 25 2013 10:45 AM
The Truth from Becky

Racism in 2013, is as alive and well on this board as in 1813.

FACT: Zimmerman did not have the RIGHT nor AUTHORITY nor credentials to follow anyone! This is America, you do not get killed for taking the shortcut through an unfamiliar neighborhood!! What is wrong with you two!

Jun. 25 2013 10:44 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

@ The Truth from Becky

It's funny that you posted the definitions for both "follow" and "pursue" and even then failed to see the implication of using either term in context of this discussion. It's not either or, it's one or the other, and all we know (and may ever know) is that Zimmerman followed Martin, likely to speak with him. Not to "catch" or "attack".

Jun. 25 2013 10:42 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

@ Al from Marine Park from Brooklyn, NY

Now you're spewing BS - Marting was not some tiny little helpless kid against some big giant.

Let's stick to the facts (which on they're face make Zimmerman look guilty as hell) and not try to create artificial "facts."

Jun. 25 2013 10:37 AM
The Truth from Becky

Po"tay"to - Po"tah"to Mr BAD...

pur·sue
/pərˈso͞o/
Verb

Follow (someone or something) to catch or attack them.
Seek to form a sexual relationship with (someone) in a persistent way.

Synonyms
follow - chase - hunt - prosecute - track

Jun. 25 2013 10:34 AM
Al from Marine Park from Brooklyn, NY

The jury must decide whether or not the KILLING of Trayvon Martin was self defense. The critical issue should be KILLING. Did a big adult like Zimmerman need to inflict a mortal wound, or even need to use his gun on, an unarmed thin youth?

Jun. 25 2013 10:32 AM
The Truth from Becky

fol·low
/ˈfälō/
Verb

Go or come after (a person or thing proceeding ahead); move or travel behind: "she went back into the house, and Ben followed her".
Go after (someone) in order to observe or monitor.

Synonyms
pursue - ensue - succeed

Jun. 25 2013 10:31 AM
Roy from Queens

@john from office: Trayvon Martin never had a criminal record before his death. So, you know what to do with yourself with your bigoted viewpoints while on a commode.

Jun. 25 2013 10:30 AM
fuva from harlemworld

There's a damn fool on this comments page, who think that a "high degree of black criminality" makes it okay to treat every black (or every black in a baseball cap and baggy jeans) as a criminal. People, don't be like that.

Jun. 25 2013 10:30 AM
Scott

Brian,

Maybe we should try an wait for the facts of this case to be reveale before we make up our minds.

Jun. 25 2013 10:30 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

Nobody knows if Zimmerman started the fight. "Pursuit"? C'mon Brian. He followed him. Get real. The most plausible fact set is that Zimmerman approached Martin, he had an attitude, Martin didn't like that and attacked him - why do I believe that?

It's not because Martin is black, it's because he's a kid. Anybody (especially any man) who remembers what it's like to be 18 and get "hot" at the drop of a hat, especially when confronted by someone who you perceive as a pseudo-authority figure being a jerk (i.e. mall cop) will know instantly what happened. The fight got out of hand. Martin at some point saw the gun, he went for it, at that point it was life and death for both. It's not murder, but it is manslaughter.

Also, how is "we don't need you to do that" an order? It is not an order. Nor is a police dispatcher a police officer in this or most cases. It is not a lawful order the way it's phrased and not an order from a police officer in any case. This is a tragedy but convicting Zimmerman of murder would be a travesty.

Jun. 25 2013 10:29 AM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

So the 'fill-in the blanks' part of the decision gives an advantage to the only participant left alive in the confrontation...Not a good day for justice.

Stand your ground can easily be perverted to "Let's go hunt minorities".

Jun. 25 2013 10:27 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

I wouldn't listen to someone at the 911 switchboard either. These are not trained police officers and I've had many 911 calls where I've seriously wondered what the IQ was on the other end of the line.

I'm not saying Zimmerman should have persued Martin (I don't really know), I just don't put much weight on what the 911 operator said.

Jun. 25 2013 10:27 AM
Stephen B Schwarz from JC

Self defense is usually an affirmative defense, in which the burden of proving self defense is on the defense. That is, if the facts that A shot B are clear, and A claims self defense, A has to prove the self defense; the prosecution does not have to prove that there was no self-defense.

Does 'stand your ground' shift the burden of proof for the self-defense to the prosecution?

Jun. 25 2013 10:26 AM
The Truth from Becky

Minus the gun, this would have been a good ole fashioned ass whooping! Two people would be alive when the police arrived. One would be allowed to continue to their home the other in jail for assault!

Jun. 25 2013 10:26 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Correction, Jami, when asked if he was following Trayvon, Zimmerman said yes. Please be specific.

Jun. 25 2013 10:26 AM
fuva from harlemworld

(On another note, racial profiling is an aggressive act. This issue is not primary here, but hopefully it will also be addressed.)

Jun. 25 2013 10:25 AM
J.R. McGrail from nyc

How is it that stand your ground law does not allow/protect Treyvon to stand his own ground when over zealously molested by Zimmermann?

Jun. 25 2013 10:24 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

You don't have to run away in NJ before using deadly force? WRONG

NJ is as farkled, in the opposite direction, as Texas where you can shoot people for being on your property after dark.

Jun. 25 2013 10:23 AM
fuva from harlemworld

OK, so what about Trayvon's right to stand his ground, against a strange, unidentified obvious pursuer, who he initially ran away from? Brian, this is the rejoinder to Jami.
Yes, caller.
The question is what constitutes the starting of a fight?

Jun. 25 2013 10:22 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

Wait, hold up, so you're saying that a person can't stop and speak with another person in their neighborhood. I'm not saying accost, insult or otherwise harass but stop someone who looks suspicious and ask what they're up to? Are you kidding? NOBODY know what happened or what Zimmerman or Martin said to each other. This neighborhood was being burglarized on a regular basis. C'mon, be reasonable, little to nothing is known, it's all conjecture.

Jun. 25 2013 10:20 AM
Jcro from Upstate NY

Stand your ground is absolutely absurd, the fact that this man created the danger and then killed someone in "self-defense" and then legally could get away with is is crazy!!

Jun. 25 2013 10:19 AM
The Truth from Becky

"Pursued" is the key word here.

Jun. 25 2013 10:18 AM
Adrian from Bed Stuy

Has it been suggested that it was Trayvon who "stood his ground" feeling he was being stalked by a threatening individual; acting on the belief that a good defense is a good offense , turned on Zimmerman

Jun. 25 2013 10:18 AM
jade

Floyd should point out that the requirement is that a guilty verdict requires six votes of guilty, so here it would be a unanimous vote, not a mere majority of four.

Jun. 25 2013 10:15 AM
john from office

I thought Zimmerman was an evil white guy? Instead he is a latino, how is that possible, the police favored a latino? WOW

Jun. 25 2013 10:14 AM
Mick from NYC

I don't understand why Trayvon Martin's actions were not protected by the Stand Your Ground law? He was being stalked by a person who left the vehicle he was in and, as an aggressor, confronted Martin on a dark street with an implied threat of physical violence. By Florida law wasn't anything Trayvon Martin did to his attacker protected?

Jun. 25 2013 10:14 AM

"Relatively unique"? There is no such animal. Relatively rare, perhaps.

Jun. 25 2013 10:10 AM

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